April 28, 2020

SolarPak changes children’s lives

A former computer retailer creates a backpack that provides light to help children in remote villages study after dark.

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Solar-powered backpack provides light to off-grid students.

In a remote, off-grid part of Cote d’Ivoire, Evariste Akoumian discovered children who were trying to study in the dark with oil lamps.

This inspired him to create Solarpak, a small, lightweight backpack onto which a solar panel is strapped, alongside a detachable lamp that produces light when connected to the battery with a regular USB cable.

The solar panel is incorporated into the back of the backpack. During the day it charges in sunlight and this energy is stored in a built-in battery.

Although the battery only takes 30 minutes to charge, it provides ED reading light for up to five uninterrupted hours. In these rural communities in Cote d’Ivoire, solar is making the previously hard super-easy for these school children.

The bags also come in cool designs and colours, a major change for students who are used to carrying their school supplies in plastic bags or rice sacks.

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